It’s well established that using financial incentives isn’t the best strategy for embedding customer experience behaviours with employees. Here are some alternative approaches.
1. Go beyond single metrics
What does CX success look like – is it a high NPS? Short waiting times for agent support? Customer satisfaction ratings? The answer is all of these and more. By targeting a particular metric in your CX program, you risk losing focus on the bigger picture, which is the quality of the overall experiences your customers are having. Single data points give an indication of your progress towards the objective – they’re not the objective itself. Consider your metrics holistically, and give your staff the opportunity to do the same.
2. Make CX a company-wide objective
One challenge many organisations face is that CX sits within a silo. It isn’t widely understood by the whole organisation – let alone owned as a shared responsibility. By making positive customer experiences a formal objective for every member of staff, you can raise consciousness of CX as a priority, and also start people thinking about how their role contributes to great CX, even if they have no direct contact with end-users in their day-to-day roles.
3. Automate selectively
Chatbots and other automated systems can be excellent time-saving tools for customers and staff alike, but there are times when they rob your employees of the opportunity to add a personal touch. Review where automation appears in your customer journey, and steer away from using it at moments where emotions are likely to run high – such as flight cancellation announcements or problems issuing a refund for a retail purchase. Employees should be made aware that their skills and ability to make personal connections are invaluable, and empowered to step in and override an automated system where it will create a stronger customer experience.
4. Reward employee ambassadorship
As Simon Sinek famously tweeted, “Customers will never love a company unless employees love it first”. The concept of ambassadorship is a helpful one when it comes to creating a CX-driven company culture, because it underlines the importance of alignment with values, rather than just compliance with rules. An employee who is a brand ambassador goes above and beyond in three ways:
- understanding the brand values on a deep level
- recognising their responsibility for that brand
- genuinely believing in the brand and being personally aligned to it
5. Focus on specific outcomes, not specific methods
As we’ve seen, positive customer experiences result from genuine, personal connections with your brand. And there’s no faster way to stifle the personal than to control it with a slew of rules and restrictions placed on your staff. It’s actually harder for people to deliver great CX when they’re being forced to say, do or wear certain things. That doesn’t mean you can’t give your employees direction. You just need to shift the focus a little by specifying the kind of customer experience goals you’re aiming for, for example customers reporting that they feel listened to, or feeling welcomed in a store or branch.
Ultimately, how well your employees embrace your customer experience goals boils down to brand authenticity – an overall alignment of values and practices that reaps rewards for everyone from the newest customer to the call center employee.